PHOTOS/QUOTES: Jan. 6 Survivor Officer Michael Fanone, Members of Congress, Vets Demand GOP House Condemn Political Violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, January 6th survivor and former DC Police Officer Michael Fanone, Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-PA), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Common Defense Political Director Naveed Shah and over 30 veterans from across the country spoke at a press conference on Capitol Hill organized by Courage for Americaand Common Defense. Ahead of the anniversary of January 6th, the group expressed distress over rising political violence and called on House Republicans to condemn both acts of violence and the rhetoric that incites it.
This press conference was part of a broader week of action spearheaded by Courage for America and Common Defense, which included the delivery of a letter authored by Officer Fanone and signed by over a thousand veterans, active duty service members, and military family members from across the country.

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Photos are available for public use here (Photo Credit: Harrison Mitchell)

 Photos are available for public use here (Photo Credit: Joy Asico)

Highlights from today’s press conference include:

Jan. 6 Survivor and Former DC Police Officer Michael Fanone: 
“To the new Speaker of the House — whoever the hell that ends up being — and other GOP House leaders, here’s my message to you: You have this job because you promised to represent the people. We, the people, are calling on you to condemn political violence. As you take on your new roles, I will be watching and waiting for public statements from each and every one of you to do just that. Enough is enough.”

Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO): 
“As I sat in the House gallery on January 6th with my fellow members – and as that mob was beating down the door, with us erecting barricades to keep them out – I thought about how you can have veterans on both sides of that door. You have one set of veterans who succumbed to the Big Lie, who thought wrongfully that they were the patriots that day. Then you had veterans on the other side of the door, police officers, members of Congress who were fighting for our democracy.”

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ): 
“I can tell you that we are prepared and ready for this new start. We are prepared and ready to make sure that going forward our democracy is stronger and more resilient than ever. And so it’s with almost a sense of joy that I start this new term in Congress because I know the American people have our back. I know these veterans are never going to forget their oath to the Constitution, and are always going to fight to protect and defend our Constitution against enemies – both foreign and domestic.”

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA): 
“It is no secret that [insurrectionists] were inspired by some of the most senior officials in our government who failed to accept the results of the 2020 election. And that’s why we are standing here today.”

“We stand united with one message. We condemn political violence of all forms and we owe it to the American people and our brave law enforcement officers to proudly say that over and over and over again.”

Rep.-elect Chris Deluzio (D-PA): 
“Right wing, insurrectionist extremists act like they own the flag of this country. They do not. They do not own patriotism. It is not patriotic to walk around lying about election results. It’s not patriotic to throw out the votes of Americans and my fellow Pennsylvanians, and it’s certainly not patriotic to attack cops, law enforcement, and to storm our capitol to bludgeon people with bats trying to overthrow our democracy.”

Naveed Shah, Senior Advisor for Courage for America and Political Director for Common Defense: 
“Kevin McCarthy is facing a coup from within his own party right now. But don’t be fooled, because Kevin McCarthy is no saint either. He denied the results of the 2020 election. He allows Marjorie Taylor Greene free reign to spout dangerous and conspiracy theories. And just last night, he again [echoed] the support of former President Donald Trump. And if you think that’s bad, alternatives like Jim Jordan and Lauren Bobert are even worse.”

U.S. Air Force Veteran and Common Defense Member Sylvia Gonzalez:
“As a grassroots organizer, I am seeing an increasing level of violence up close. […] It’s a top-down movement from the Republican leadership… If Representatives McCarthy and Scalise will not condemn the dangerous violent rhetoric coming from their caucus, then they are essentially endorsing it.”

To learn more or to speak with a Courage for America spokesperson, contact [email protected].